Victor Oladipo Indiana Pacers
Victor Oladipo demonstrated more improvement than arguably any other player this season. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

After heading into this season with moderate expectations, Victor Oladipo was able to carry the Indiana Pacers to the playoffs. Along the way, we saw him turn into an NBA All-Star. Let’s compare his numbers from this season to his numbers from last season.

Oladipo made a name for himself in college playing for the Indiana Hoosiers. During his time at IU, he became the face of the team and helped them become the number one in the country. After being drafted second overall by the Magic in 2013, we didn’t hear much about him for a few years.

After a trade that sent him from Orlando to Oklahoma City, Oladipo was ready for a fresh start with a new team. After playing one season in a Thunder uniform, Oladipo found himself on the move again; this time to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for their franchise player Paul George. This is where we saw Oladipo breakout and showed how good he can really be in this league.

The Pacers were just knocked out of the 2018 NBA Playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Although their exit came sooner than they may have wanted, they still had a remarkable season. Heading into it, analysts and fans predicted them to finish near the bottom of the East; saying they would only win roughly 30 games and they had no real stars. Indiana proved everyone wrong and made this season a memorable one.

The leader of the pack was none other than Oladipo. With that being said, let’s take a closer look at some of the numbers Oladipo put up in his one season in Oklahoma City compared to his first year as a Pacer.

Oladipo’s shooting percentages and scoring hikes

The one thing that stood out from the other stats was Victor Oladipo’s ability to score the basketball. During his time at IU, he was never the best shooter and scored most of his points by attacking the rim. This year, he showed that he can be a threat from just about anywhere on the floor.

During his time in Oklahoma City, Oladipo averaged 15.9 points per game. This season, that number shot up to 23.1. To do the math for you, this is a 7.2 point increase. Some players struggle to average seven points in a game and he was able to add that to his total in just one season.

His field goal percentage went up as well. Last season he only shot 44.2 percent from the field. This season, he shot a clean 47.7 percent. He also saw his three-point percentage rise slightly this year from 36.1 percent to 37.1 percent. While one percent doesn’t seem like much, it is worth noting the improvement since it came on a higher volume of attempts.

On top of the increased shooting percentages, we also saw Oladipo develop into a master in the clutch. The first one that comes to mind was his game-winner against the San Antonio Spurs. He got the ball at the top of the key with LaMarcus Aldridge guarding him. He read the defense, took a quick step back and nailed the three-point shot to bury them in the final seconds.

This wasn’t the only time he did this to a team. He hit a clutch shot against the Cleveland Cavaliers in December that snapped their 13-game win streak. He also hit a dagger against the Chicago Bulls. Time and time again, the Pacers turned to Oladipo down the stretch, and he delivered.

This is something that every star in the league has to have in their arsenal. They have to be able to produce a big shot when their team needs one. And Oladipo has proven that he can be trusted with the shot at any moment, something we did not see during his time in Oklahoma City.

Victor Oladipo’s Usage Rate spike

A fun statistic to talk about is a player’s usage rate. We aren’t going to spend too much time on this, but it is still worth noting. In Oklahoma City, Oladipo was sitting on a usage rate of 21.4 percent. This season it shot up to 30.1 percent, which is almost 10 percent higher than last year.

This just shows that he was able to take the higher usage and produce while doing it. If he was getting this kind of rate and failing to take advantage of it by missing shots and being inefficient, then he would have seen that rate stay the same. Instead, he took full advantage and was able to produce All-Star numbers for his team.

Dipo’s steals, rebounds, and assists figures

Victor Oladipo has been known to be a good defensive player, but this year he took it to a whole new level. He was able to increase his number of steals per game from 1.2 to 2.4. By the end of the year, he found himself first in the league in steals.

It doesn’t stop there, he also increased his number of rebounds per game from 4.3 last season to 5.2 this season. As far as his assist numbers go, we saw an increase there as well. He went from 2.6 last season to 4.3 this year.

To sum this up, we literally saw an improvement in just about every category from Oladipo. He has proven to be one of the league’s deadliest players this year. And if this is a sign of what is to come from the young star, then the rest of the league should be worried. Victor Oladipo is a force to be reckoned with.

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